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Nurse's aid failed to render aid to man beaten to death

By Gheni_Platenburg
Sept. 16, 2010 at 4:16 a.m.

David Francisco Barron

A nurse's aid told jurors on Thursday that she did not render aid to a Victoria beating victim after finding his body in a parking lot.

Thursday marked the third day of testimony in the trial of Victoria residents David Francisco Barron, 26, and Marcus "Pelon" Pena, 24, are charged with murder in the 2009 death of Jason "Big J" Garcia, 24.

Garcia was found beaten and dead in the parking lot of Magic Industries, near the 2300 block of South Laurent Street on Aug. 23, 2009.

Because of the ties this case has to the Mexican Mafia street gang, the Victoria County District Attorney's Office has asked The Victoria Advocate not to use the names of some court witnesses for their protection.

The nurse's aid, who is Marcus Pena's wife, told jurors she and David Barron's now ex-girlfriend were asked to check on Garcia, who was still in the parking lot.

"They just told me he had gotten beaten up," said Pena's wife. "At first, they didn't give me a reason to think they killed him."

After two trips to the location, during one of which Barron pointed out Garcia's body to the women, Pena's wife said they found Garcia, who was lying face down in a pool of blood.

After calling Garcia's name and receiving no response, Pena's wife said she looked for back movements that would indicate he was breathing.

After seeing none, she said, she did not check for any other vital signs.

Pena's wife said she has 10 years in the medical field and works as a certified nursing assistant at a Victoria nursing home.

"I told (Barron's girlfriend) we're not going to touch or lift him because he was deadweight and too heavy to lift," she said. "As a certified nurse you are not supposed to touch them. You are supposed to call for help."

The two women called 911 and told the dispatcher they were just driving by and came across the body.

They left the scene before emergency crews arrived.

During direct questioning by the state, Pena's wife's said she once served probation on a perjury conviction.

When questioned by defense attorney Brent Dornburg, she said her memory of the night's events was limited because she had been intoxicated.

Dornburg is representing Barron.

After checking on Garcia, Pena's wife said she went home to check on her teenage daughter, who had been left at home with a male friend most of the night.

She did not question any of the men about their involvement with the beating.

"I didn't want to know anything," she said.

Rolando Pena Jr., 25, and Antonio Castillo Jr. were also arrested in late August 2009 and charged with Garcia's death.

However, both men received plea deals in exchange for their testimony.

Barron, and Pena, who is represented by attorney Jim Beeler, also face charges of engaging in organized criminal activity and capital murder.

Corpus Christi Police Department crime scene investigator Rose M. Blanton also testified Thursday about fingerprints found on the white, early 90s Cadillac the men would later use to flee Victoria.

The case will resume at 9 a.m. Friday in Judge Robert Cheshire's courtroom.

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